Community-engaged climate action projects; skill building for climate action
Subject: Environmental Science
Year / Level: 2 (and upper-year)
Theme(s): Climate Action Labs
The UBC declaration of a climate emergency inspires us, as students, faculty, citizens and a university community, into climate action. It is an emergency that is felt disproportionately and differently but connects us all with a sense of urgency. The barrier that faces so many individuals and organizations is knowing what to do with that urgency. What is climate action? What does an individual contribution to collective action look like? How can we (as students, researchers, collaborators) contribute to communities working on climate action? These are the guiding questions of the Climate Action Labs (CALs); their goal is to identify a climate action opportunity and generate a working, feasible response. Throughout the term, students, guided by the course instructor, will work on a climate related challenge identified by a community partner organization. In interdisciplinary teams, students will think through the challenge to propose potential responses. Over the three year series, through workshops, readings and individual initiatives, students will build a skill set in climate action. The CALs are intended to empower climate action and build community, leading to social change.
The format of the CALs is a 3 course series delivered together in a single multi-year classroom. The courses in the series are tied together by the term long, community engaged climate action proposal project and differentiated by the students role in the project team, assignments and a set of workshops. ENVR 201 focuses on theories of change and develops skills for characterizing climate action problems. ENVR 301 introduces a lens of decolonization and asks students to evaluate climate action from this perspective. ENVR 401 is focused on facilitating conversations and leadership.
The CALs are also the backbone to the Certificate in Climate Studies and Action, providing a space for the program cohorts to gather each year.
"The Climate Action Labs are the place to meet your peers, think creatively and connect with our local community. In the CAL’s you will start to move the dial on climate action."